Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paper or Online

The internet has revolutionized the domestic world in an unprecedented manner. 50 years ago, who could have imagined the connectivity and exposure it has brought to us today. Who could have thought about electronic waves. As a kid, I used to wonder how my father could churn a paper through a machine; beep-beep, and somebody in another part of the world would have instant access to its contents. Spooky!

I also remember very fondly, flipping through USA Today papers he'd have in his luggage, upon returning from a business trip. They were a prized possession. I had my hands on something my friends could only dream about!

These questions and ecstacies would never occur to a child of the 21st century. He takes it all for granted. While he potentially has a lot more to deal with - his innocence at stake - he lives in a world, knitted together with the strength of a trillion flagpoles. Try as he may, it can't be undone. 

We've all pondered over the good and bad things about the internet; and if we never planned to, our school-teachers solved that problem for us, "Write an essay!". We were the generation caught in this transition, so this ought to remain special to us. We used to hear about Wall Street and life in the fast lane. Today, that fast lane is life. Of course, it means that we've either had to give up or simply, were never given the chance for those early hours on the breakfast table - that quiet and subtle enjoyment in having been woken up from slumber, to sit with family, sip milk, eat toast and the crisp sound of the paper. Aah, the paper. It remains debatable if those fond moments at the start of the day, now alien to us, were a luxury or whether the option to click away on the internet, while in college or at work, is. Let me know...

Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik

Found this relevant piece online today: Newsprint's Disappearing as Papers Go Online


Id it is said...

It's an ongoing tug-of-war between the two! However, the sheer joy of reading a 'book' is priceless and cannot be replaced by something as intangible as an on-line novel. Also there are books that we keep as precious valuables even though it is the story they carry within that has made us want to possess these tangible 'books'.

Perhaps a time will come, as Bradbury imagined in one of his short stories, when books will have become obsolete, but as of now I still relish them!

Newspapers, on the other hand, have already become a thing of the past, at least for the younger generation that gets all its news online. I too get my daily news on line;it is only to unwind after work that I pick up the NYT and often times I feel it is just something I do as a matter of habit more than anything else.

A comment that overspoke itself!Sorry

Saadia said...

So the comments facility finally came through! :-)

Do you think your newspaper readings are more rigorous in paper? A lot of my friends still complain that net-reading still isn't fun enough!

Id it is said...

Well, I'm not sure about the rigour because I basically get all the news on line in the morning and it is in the late afternoon when I laze through the NYT more out of habit that I like to indulge in. Perhaps that is what we often term as 'fun'.